London has seen its ranking fall on the list of the most open cities in the country.
Edmonton ranks as the top city in the country while London saw its ranking fall from 5th overall in 2015 to 13th this year.
The Open Cities Index is a benchmark for municipal open data initiatives across the country and is compiled by Public Sector Digest in collaboration with Canada’s Open Data Exchange.
Public Sector Digest’s Tyler Sutton told AM980 there’s a reason for London’s decline.
“Most of the change for London would be as a result of new communities that participated this year but not last year, so we have a number of communities that are brand new to the index.”
Now in its second year, the Open Cities Index launched in 2015 as Canada’s first study to benchmark municipal open data initiatives across the country. The index has grown to include 68 municipalities, representing 61.17% of the Canadian population.
Readiness looks at how ready a city is to move forward with an open data initiative, measuring capacity and the number of staff dedicated to open data work. Implementation looks at the actual publication of data sets and measures the extent to which data has been published and its quality. Impact tries to determine whether the community is seeing a positive impact after data was published and if a city is able to accurately measure the impact in any way.
Sutton said London has a good reputation for openness.
“London came out of the gates early. In London they talk about being one of the first communities to put some work behind open data and still has the reputation for doing so.”
City councillor voting records are one of the most popular forms of data some look for, but it’s only one of 32 categories assessed for the index. The authors look at everything from economic development information to whether a municipality posts traffic data.
While London was an early adopter on the issue, Sutton said other cities have caught up to London on this issue.
“London was quick out of the gates and now I think it’s just a matter of putting some capacity around their work and getting some more data sets out amongst the diverse data sets that we’re looking for.”
London is set to host the ‘Go Open Data’ Conference in May 2017. The conference will bring together open data leaders from across the province.
For the second year in a row, Edmonton took the top spot as Canada’s most open city, Toronto retained its second place ranking. Montreal climbed ten spots to third in 2016, rounding out the top three.